• Monday, June 17, 2024

UK News

Politicians urged not to target Muslims for electoral gains

Zara Mohammed

By: Shajil Kumar

With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling for the general election on July 4 and political parties wooing the electorate, a prominent organisation for UK Muslims has urged political leaders not to use minorities as a “punching bag” to score points during campaigns.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is calling for “hopeful” political lobbying following prime minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement, the Independent reports.

MCB secretary general Zara Mohammed has urged the political parties to ‘resist the urge’ to scapegoat Muslims and minorities. They should pursue a campaign that is hopeful and proposes a future where all Britons can play a positive role, she added.

Zara said after the Gaza crisis erupted, prominent politicians and their supportive media had stepped up their rhetoric against Muslims. They were cast as the enemy within and questioning their right to play an equal part in the country’s democracy.

Britain’s leading political parties face a crisis in confidence among Muslim communities amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

A recent poll by HOPE not Hate showed that 58 per cent of Conservative Party members think Islam is a threat to the British way of life, while the Labour Party’s support amongst British Muslims has sharply declined after Keir Starmer’s initial response to the Gaza war.

It had also cost Labour dear in Muslim-majority pockets during the recent civic elections and a major upset at Rochdale by-election where George Galloway of Workers Party of Britain won on its anti-war stance.

Zara said the Gaza conflict is currently a key concern for many Muslim people across the UK, as well as a range of other issues close to home.

There has been a rise in Islamophobic incidents across the country with people being targeted over their support for Palestine.

She called for proactive engagement with diverse Muslim communities, addressing health and elderly care disparities, and supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

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